Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1978


By this time numerous articles have detailed the tensions, excitement, and apprehensions of the days preceding Houston—and even the curiously flat feeling of the evening before the opening session of this first federally mandated National Women's Conference. The press has reported with varying detail significant moments of the four-day weekend, such as passage of the resolutions on the Equal Rights Amendment, on Reproductive Freedom, and on Sexual Preference. There have been analyses of the impressively disciplined Pro-Plan Caucus, formed by heads of eleven delegations who were determined to facilitate passage of the twenty-six-plank proposed National Plan of Action within the allotted two and a half days by keeping debate going, forestalling possible delaying tactics on the part of right-wing delegates, and moving the agenda items to a vote.

But for women who had also attended the four-day founding convention of the National Women's Studies Association in San Francisco just ten months earlier, there was a familiar urgency of another sort : could there be a new integration of race and class and sex? Once more the endorsement of a program would affect the possibilities for widespread grass-roots coalition and the extent to which the priorities of race, class, and lesbianism would be recognized. Just as women went to San Francisco determined to strengthen ties between traditional feminist education and the larger women's movement, so at Houston an issue awaiting resolution was the actual breadth of the proposed National Plan, which was being defended as the minimal National Plan of Action for women of this country.



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